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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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P&EGAHA lUCP.                                                     391
the transfer of the tahsili from Mat to Surir, and the completion of the road
between Noh-jhil and the Brinda-ban bridge, are the three great requirements
of the district which urgently demand a speedy settlement,
MAT—population 4,093—has for some years past given a name to a pargana,
though it is nothing bat an exceptionally mean assemblage of mud hovels,
without any bazar or even a single brick-built house* It stands immediately
on the high bank of the Jamuna, but is separated from the actual bed of the
stream by a mile of deep sand, and the ferry which connects it witb Sakaraya
on the opposite side is therefore very little used. Four miles lower down the
stream is the Brinda-ban bridge of boats ; the road which leads to it skirting for
some distance the margin of an extensive morass, called the Moti-jhil, which,
though never very broad, sometimes attains a length of nearly two miles. The
township (jamaUs, 8,983) is divided into two thoks, Baja andMula, and was till re
cently owned entirely by Brahmans and ThakurSj but some Muhammadans are now
in part possession as mortgagees. The Chaukidari Act is in force, but jields an
incom'eof only Rs. 52 a month, which leaves a very small balance for local im-
provements. The school is merely of the primary class, and not so well attended as
the one in the adjoining hamlet of Chhahiri. There is an old mud fort, and
within its enclosure stand the tahsili and police-station, the only substantial
buildings in the place. Though there is no grove of trees to justify the iatle,,it
is still designated as one of the Upabans, and is a station in the Ban-jatra ; the
name being derived from < the milk-pails' (mat) here upset by Krishna in his
childish sports. At Chhahirij a little higher up the stream, is the sacred wood
of Bhandir-ban, a dense thicket of ber, kins, and other low prickly shrubs, with
a small modern temple, rest-house and well in an open space in the centre*
Just outside is an ancient fig-tree (bat} which Krishna and his playmates
Balaram and Sridarna are said to have made their goal when they ran races
against each other (see page 59). A large meld, chiefly attended by Bengalis,
is held here, Chait badi 9, and is called the Qwal-mandala, The temple in the
grove is dedicated to Bihari; that under the Bhandir-bat, to Srid&ma. In the
village are three other small shrines in honour of Radha Mohan, Gopal, and
Mahadeva. Two mosques have also been recently built by the Mnhammadans.
In the mutiny the only act of violence committed was the seizure of six grain*
boats passing down the river, for which the zamiad&rs were subsequently fined.
B£r ANA—population 4,427—about five miles utorfh-eaat of Noh-jbil, has from
iime immemorial been occupied by Jats. Many years ago, the three leading
men divided it into as many estates, called after their own names, Sulisb Patti,